View Poll Results: Is Labor a Commodity

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30. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, it's a commodity subject to the market of wages offered

    10 33.33%
  • No, it's not a commodity, workers should receive a living wage

    12 40.00%
  • Yes, fill in your own justification

    2 6.67%
  • No, fill in your own justification

    6 20.00%
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Thread: Is Labor a Commodity?

  1. #101
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    The difference being something that seems to escape you
    1) rightist libertarians thrive and embrace selfishness and their own self interest above society and wear it upon their chests like a Miss America sash in Atlantic city
    2) I know of no progressive who subscribes to the message that is constantly broadcast here of buying votes with other peoples money

    #1 is a sad reality.
    #2 is a Frankenstein monster perversion of a ludicrous strawman
    You're overgeneralizing when you insult all rightist liberatarians being selfish. Such overgeneralization is one of the root causes of racism, sexism, and such discrimination. It's like saying that all poor people are criminals. Discrminatory, harmful, and ignorant.
    "The misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all" - Joan Robinson
    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries" - Winston Churchill

  2. #102
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    You're overgeneralizing when you insult all rightist liberatarians being selfish. Such overgeneralization is one of the root causes of racism, sexism, and such discrimination. It's like saying that all poor people are criminals. Discrminatory, harmful, and ignorant.
    Perhaps you should read a bit more. This author is hardly a progressive leftist handing out Leon Trotsky T shirts at a commune

    Ayn Rand’s adult-onset adolescence - The Washington Post

    a very small selection

    Many libertarians trace their inspiration to Rand’s novels, while sometimes distancing themselves from Objectivism. But both libertarians and Objectivists are moved by the mania of a single idea — a freedom indistinguishable from selfishness. This unbalanced emphasis on one element of political theory — at the expense of other public goals such as justice and equal opportunity — is the evidence of a rigid ideology.
    If I had a dollar for every libertarian I have encountered over the years who defends their won self interest over society I could do some real good with that stack of cash.

    This is written by a former libertarian.... he hits the nail firmly upon its head

    http://madmikesamerica.com/2010/09/a...fish-and-mean/

    here is a selection



    The infantile selfishness of American libertarianism should be obvious to anyone with a brain. It is so much about the welfare of the individual that the collective is the baby thrown out with the bath water. Like all philosophies doomed to failure, American libertarianism doesn’t recognize the whole of which it is a part. Life is a balancing act and calls for checks and balances to keep it healthy. Some times call for a focus on the individual to effectuate the greatest good. Other times call for a bolstering of the health of the collective to keep things humming in the general direction toward progress. Make one the ultimate master of the other and disaster will follow.

    American libertarianism is just plain mean. It is a philosophy of heartlessness at its core, and ruthlessly promotes division between the haves and have-nots. The only welfare offered by the quintessential American libertarian is that in times of need, pray harder and good luck. Economically it is survival of the fittest, and ignores the fact that humanity is endowed with more than a lizard’s brain. Love and compassion for humanity and our planet don’t fit into the libertarian rubric from what I can tell.
    Last edited by haymarket; 09-11-11 at 08:58 AM.
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  3. #103
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm not opposed to any of that. But what does it have to do with automation or my previous post?
    The point is, there aren't enough jobs to go around anymore, in large part due to technology, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It just means we need to make some changes.
    For: legalizing drugs, gay marriage, abortion, guns, universal health care, public sector jobs, nuclear power, free education, progressive taxation
    Against: corporations, make-work, the 40 hour work week, intellectual property, imperialism, "homeland security," censorship

  4. #104
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Perhaps you should read a bit more. This author is hardly a progressive leftist handing out Leon Trotsky T shirts at a commune

    Ayn Rand’s adult-onset adolescence - The Washington Post

    a very small selection



    If I had a dollar for every libertarian I have encountered over the years who defends their won self interest over society I could do some real good with that stack of cash.

    This is written by a former libertarian.... he hits the nail firmly upon its head

    American Libertarianism: Stupid, Selfish and Mean | MadMikesAmerica

    here is a selection
    Randians are not exactly libertarians and the rants of one person means nothing. We know how many deaths communists, socialists and other collectivists have committed. And nothing is more selfish than demanding other people pay so you can claim you are being charitable and reap the benefits from those who are given the the moneys others were forced to pony up.



  5. #105
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    Randians are not exactly libertarians and the rants of one person means nothing. We know how many deaths communists, socialists and other collectivists have committed. And nothing is more selfish than demanding other people pay so you can claim you are being charitable and reap the benefits from those who are given the the moneys others were forced to pony up.
    There is a very strong overlap and intercourse between randroids and libertarians. To deny it is to deny reality. To deny that is to commit intellectual fraud.

    Just go to lewrockwell.com - the modern libertarian clearing house and you will find passionate defenses of Rand, the randroids and the ideas that libertarians absorded into their 'ideology'

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block172.html

    It’s Ayn Rand bashing time once again. Our "friends" on the left are on the warpath for a change, and have Miss Rand in their crosshairs. See here, here, here and here.


    What, pray tell, are the charges? It would appear that Ayn Rand, one of the greatest libertarian minds as far as I am concerned in the entire history of mankind, is, wait for it; no, you had better be sitting down when you read this or I won’t be responsible for your doctor bills, is, yes, a socialist! And a hypocrite to boot. And why is this? It is because while she railed against Social Security and Medicare, she availed herself of payments from these funds.
    and more

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard252.html

    But the Randian creed still remains as a vital influence on the thinking of libertarians, so many of whom were former adherents to the cult.
    and yet more showing that Rand is often the gateway drug to addiction to libertarianism

    http://www.fff.org/comment/com0502a.asp

    My very first exposure to libertarianism was provided by Ayn Rand, whose 100th birthday is being celebrated today.

    One afternoon in the fall of 1974, I was sitting around watching television. At the time, I was temporarily working as a waiter in Dallas, having just completed three months of infantry school in Georgia to fulfill my Army Reserves active-duty commitment, before returning to finish law school in Austin the following semester. An afternoon movie quickly engrossed me, becoming my first exposure to libertarianism — The Fountainhead, starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. The credits stated that the movie was based on Ayn Rand’s novel by that name and so I ran out at once, bought it, and read it. Howard Roark and Dominique Francon quickly became my heroes!
    Perhaps instead of simply pontificating about your own personal theories about selfishness resulting in charity you can actually go into the real world and the historical record and sow us with verifiable evidence just who it is that you are talking about?
    Last edited by haymarket; 09-11-11 at 10:59 AM.
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    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

  6. #106
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    Another complaint about the rich. Stop sucking every thread that remotely concerns economics about how the rich is always bad, and the poor is always good, and how the rich should be taxed 110% for being rich. Not only off-topic, but flaming.

    On the topic, labor can and can't be defined as a commodity. It is unique and can't be defined as such. From Wikipedia: A commodity is a good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market.
    Labor is bought, sold, traded, like any other commodity market. As one can see, there is a labor market, so it has some basic characteristics of a commodity. However, labor is very diverse, from factory to agricultural to corporate labor. It also has qualitative differentiation unlike commodities such as the laborer's strength, education, record, etc...

    Simply put, labor has many basic characteristics of a commodity, but cannot be defined as such

    Not about the rich...about what the rich have done to the bulk of americans and to the country..out of GREED....

  7. #107
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    The point is, there aren't enough jobs to go around anymore, in large part due to technology, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It just means we need to make some changes.
    High labor rates in the USA priced us out of competitive world markets. Many countries have booming manufacturing and export markets. In this country we gave tax breaks to companies moving equipment overseas to cheap labor markets. We heard politicians talk of the emerging service economy. Now we've had great growth in McD's, Subway, BK, ad infinitum. Unions squeezed labor rates too high as a backlash against old time sweatshop factories. Bound and rebound, too much in each direction. Labor rates must go down and the country has to shift to a paradigm that is proactive against Global Warming, energy conservation, species endangerment, alternative and renewable energy and make jobs rebuilding the infrastructure embracing teh paradigm. Easier said than done. Notice it doesn't do much for banksters, Wall Street, and big energy. I wonder if there could be organized opposition?

  8. #108
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    These debates over definitions are a waste of time. We can define words however we want.

  9. #109
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    These debates over definitions are a waste of time. We can define words however we want.
    No.. you can't. Well, you could, but often would just be making yourself look ignorant. The Moon - green cheese. You can define it that way if you want, but it is in fact not green cheese.

    Communication and the understanding of such is based in specific definitions for words. That's why we have dictionaries... so that everyone is more or less on the same page.

    For example, the definitions of slavery and subjugation are very important... as is commodity. Because one word can entirely change the context and meaning of a sentence of even a paragraph, it is far from a waste of time.

  10. #110
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    No. Technology creates new jobs, and enables the mass production of things that were impossible or expensive to make before. What you are suggesting is often called the neo-luddite fallacy: It assumes that machines will simply replace workers and production will carry on the same as before. In actuality, the history of our technological development has been such that on the whole, industry uses automation to increase production rather than decrease labor. In fact, the number of jobs in America today is STAGGERINGLY higher than the number of jobs in America 50 years ago despite all of our technological progress...and the jobs today offer more pleasant conditions.
    Ok, I hear what you're saying. But what I was referring to was not the neo-luddite "robots are replacing wotkers thing, but another phenomenon I've run across in "hard" speculative fiction, and essays by the scientist authors. So fictional expansions of actual theories. I believe there's actually a term, it was discussed here so I can see if I can find it, but in a nutshell its this:

    We have already exceeded the "carrying capacity" of the planet, and technological solutions are actually keeping mankind alive. An observable factor in technological developments is that they almost always allow fewer people to accomplish more work. While new tech often creates new jobs, the trend is for less and less "useful work" over time with big increases in production. Computers have reduced many office jobs while massively increasing overall output. Agriculture becomes less labor intensive every year.

    This phenomenon, coupled with population growth, will eventually lead to a situation where everything that needs to be done IS being done, but MANY will simply have nothing to do.

    Its a take off on the idea that technology would free man from labor. Freeing us to pursue being human. All that sci fi utopian stuff.

    This is a global phenomenon, and there's a number of folks much more educated than I that are taking it seriously as something that needs to be addressed BEFORE it becomes a serious problem.

    Its where Astrasicarius gets the "everybody works half time for full time pay, which is one of the solutions I've seen kicked around. Another is cradle to grave "welfare". Expansion into space. Etc. But basically some way of addressing too many people and not enough "useful work".
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

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